YOUTHS, NEW MEDIA AND THE RISE OF PARTICIPATORY POLITICS IN NIGERIA
The new media provides a platform and mechanisms for the masses to express their opinions whilst exerting influence with respect to political, economic, or other social decisions. Since the return to democratic rule in 1999, political participation has increased tremendously in Nigeria. This study examines youth, new media, and participatory politics in Nigeria. The study is hinged on Procedural Democratic Theory while the survey research design was utilized with questionnaire as instrument for data collection. The data collected is analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. The study found that there is a significant relationship between the new media and rise of participatory politics amongst the youths in Nigeria. Based on the findings, the study recommends that Nigerians youths should use new media positively to enhance participatory politics in Nigeria, creation of digital spaces where political studies and in-depth arguments can take place with aim to increasing the awareness of the average youth in democracy and politics and this will also influence the general public and development of internship placements in political parties and legislature, this would also lead to a smooth transitioning of leadership from the old to the youths because they would have groomed them in the ways of the Nigerian political system. The study thus concludes that the Nigerian youth are willing and desirous of playing active roles in political engagement and democracy in Nigeria.
Keywords: Democracy, Digital Communications, New Media, Participatory Politics, Youth